Greg's Design Blog

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Monster Card Design

United Kingdom
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Context: Dauntless Hunters

Having finished the redesign of the hero rosters, I've moved on to the monsters. These feel a little more crowded because monsters have three extra components that do not need to fit onto the more basic heroes:
1) They have rage abilities that activate as the heroes chop bits of the monster, making it angrier and more dangerous right up until its final breath.
2) They have behaviours, that are necessary to play the solo version of the game.
3) Their attack and move grids are larger because the monsters measure 2x2

Generally these components still fit into a quarter page card, but they feel quite a lot busier than the heroes. I'm not sure how much that's going to detract from the game in actual play.

I'm also concerned about it being obvious what a particular rage star applies to. I think the complexity there is the move and attack grids. A star by an ability clearly applies to that ability (helped along by the suggestion of alternately coloured lines from last week). A star below a number seems to apply that that in a fairly straightforward way. There doesn't feel like a good place to put ones that apply to the grids themselves, at the moment I've gone with an off to the side thing, but it doesn't sit well for some reason that I can't quite place.

Finally this approach does - very slightly - cut off some design space. In the previous "roster" approach, an entire defence statline could have a star, letting a monster spend a point of rage to get a new defensive line. In this version there's not space for a full second statline so a rage star can only upgrade a single attribute.

Now that's not design space I'm going to miss at the moment, since all implementations of the effect on current monsters did only change a single stat - but I am concerned over where I'm likely to miss it in the future. There is a *lot* of space for making cool monsters in this game and I'm hoping that the variety of genuinely different opponents is something that'll make it stand out, I can probably afford to lose this, but I still think it's important to consider when it's worth losing some potential functionality over making the game look a particular way.
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